Esther Azhari Moyal: Writer, Feminist, and Jewish Activist in the Ottoman Arab World, 1892-1913

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Lecture by Lital Levy (Princeton University)

Meet Esther Azhari Moyal, a trailblazing intellectual who made her mark in the Arab Levant as the world burst into the 20th century. The only Jewish woman writer of Arabic in her day, she was a star of 19th-century Arab feminism, a prolific journalist and literary translator, and an activist for Jewish causes. Born in Beirut in 1873, she lived in Cairo, Istanbul, Jaffa, and Marseille. Through the unique prism of Moyal's life and work, this talk addresses early 20th c. Muslim-Jewish relations, Arab feminism, and Arab perspectives on the Dreyfus Affair.

Lital Levy is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University. She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and was previously a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. Professor Levy's research encompasses the modern intellectual history of Arab Jews, the literature and film of Israel/Palestine, intersections of Jewish literature and world literature, and non-Western literary modernities. She is the author of the award-winning Poetic Trespass: Writing between Hebrew and Arabic in Israel/Palestine (Princeton University Press, 2014) on the cultural politics of Arabic-Hebrew bilingualism and translation, as well as numerous articles on literature, history, and cultural studies. She is currently completing The Jewish Nahda, an intellectual history of Arab Jews and modernity.

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Duration: 00:48:32


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Published: Thursday, March 3, 2022